Archive for June, 2008

ULTIMATE CRIME DIRECTORATE NEEDED FOR THE UN.

June 30, 2008

RESPECTING THE LAW, RATHER THAN “MULTICULTURALISM”.

Abstract: to prevent another Hitler, discourage despots around the world, and avoid adventures such as democracies invading other countries because of they are “addicted to oil” (as Bush himself put it about the USA), the most urgent reform for the United Nations should be to set up an “Ultimate Crime Directorate”. Such a directorate, composed of elected individuals dedicated to the law (not countries dedicated to self serving multiculturalism) would be fair, balanced, impervious to daily politics, professional, and effective than the rest of the United Nations.
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For most of the world’s population to keep on going optimally, we need an international police to keep governments honest enough.

Hitler was stopped by war, not negotiation (that was tried first, with the Munich Treaty). If France had not aggressively stood in Hitler’s way, the Nazis would have been able to start their war when they intended to be ready, five years later (around 1944).

The Nazis’ plan was to exterminate many races. Exterminating the Jews was just a little warm-up. The Slavs and Africans were next. Germans with some black ancestry were sterilized already. Meanwhile the Nazis were buying off time, collaborating with powerful Anglo-Saxon plutocrats on their racist plan to “make space” for their private enjoyment.

If Zimbabwe’s Mugabe was the leader of a powerful technological country such as Pakistan or China, we would have again a world war situation (but facing forces armed with nukes). This is the clearest, greatest danger. Weapons of Mass Destruction are getting easier and easier to make, so, we need to make potential Hitlers completely impossible, by installing a system to cut them down in a timely manner.

As everyone knows, the French army lost a crucial battle, ten months after France declared war to Hitler, so the war lasted another five years, and killed another sixty million people; none of this would have happened if the United nations had got its act together in a timely manner).

The reason for negotiating with Hitler was to back him off in a moral corner. Before the police can be sent, the police needs to know it’s righteous (inside democratic countries the judicial system interprets the law to make sure of that).

So we need to make sure the UN can have MORAL AUTHORITY (which it was deprived of during the Bush attack on, and demolition of, Iraq).

To determine the moral facts, before acting, we need to set up an ULTIMATE CRIME DIRECTORATE at the United Nations, with a strictly advisory role to the Security Council and the General Assembly.

The ULTIMATE CRIME DIRECTORATE  would mitigate bias in the UN, and accusations or expectations of, and making excuses for, alleged bias. In the present system, despots hide behind a philosophical theory called “multiculturalism”, according to which all cultures are equally respectable.

“Multiculturalism” was invented by a German philosopher named Herder, who used it against the Enlightenment. Multiculturalism led straight to Nazism. It is the reigning paradigm at the United Nations (and very practical laws come out of it).

The Nazis claimed that  their  violations of human rights were justified by reasons traditional in Germany. In recent years the Islamists, and the countries in which they reign, have used exactly the same line of reasoning (for example they claim it’s traditional to take care of women by keeping them inside the house).

Multiculturalism allows despots to hide behind “politically correct” (or is that “politically coward”?) people who often change the conversation, and make unfounded racist accusations whenever more courageous moral activists complain about gross violations of basic human rights.

The Ultimate Crime Directorate would discourage the ‘multicultural’ cop-out. The Ultimate Crime Directorate could grow from the UN Human Rights Council (the UNHRC created in 2006, to replace its predecessor, that had elected the country of Libya to watch over human rights!). But the members of the UNHRC are states, instead of a commission of professionals aware and respectful of the spirit of international law (those professionals should be elected as the Secretary General is).

The present intrusion of states in advising what human rights should be put the wolves in charge of the chickens (as any of the Founding Fathers of the USA would point out), under the guise of “multiculturalism”.

“Multiculturalism” abusively replaces International Law in the present setup (maybe multiculturalism should face the truth and be called multidespotism instead).

When all the moral, politically correct lenifying discourse is done, and death comes knocking at the door, all what’s left is the morality of survival. Sheep turn into lions.

Many Jews had done nothing to fight back against the Nazis when they could have (because they had been living their daily lives according to their politico-religious correctness, a form of passivity on steroids). But the same Jews who had done nothing against Hitler, but looking the other way, would always fight each other viciously for air in the gas chambers (as related by fellow Jews in charge of gassing them).

This demonstrates that, when life is clearly coming to its end, people forget all their moral codes, and will do anything for survival (in particular a fascist group in power will fight to death if its survival is at stake).

So, ultimately, not resisting Hitler did not come from a superior moral fiber, but a form of mental cowardice (have others do the fighting, like the French), and idiotic shortsightedness (it’s good to be a sheep).

The same brainless, amoral behavior has long been in evidence when dealing with Iran, Pakistan, or US “neoconservatives” (who should be tried at the very least for what they did to Iraq after occupying it!).

There has been a shortage of righteousness, and that induced a failure of timely prevention.

The primacy of the survival instinct has other consequences. If a big time Hitler character occurred in the future, civilization would go out of the window on a planetary scale: the morality of survival would make sure of that. Zimbabwe is a baby demonstration of how wrong things can go, and we have to learn, as a planet, to prevent, or extinguish such deviations. We do not have 200 years. It is true that civilization has demonstrated in the past that it can flow in reverse for millennia. But not next time.

The technological and resource situation is such that, if we hit the iceberg, we would not be able to go back anymore than the Titanic.

The concept of “ultimate crime” would be more general than that of “crime against mankind” (used since Nuremberg). It would cover anti-democratic measures (such as abusive control of the media). By the time the Nazis engaged in crimes against mankind, they had spent years being extremely anti-democratic, an indispensable preliminary that allowed them, in turn, to indoctrinate millions of young fanatical inhuman robots.

So we need an Ultimate Crime Directorate to reestablish the planetary primacy of law over local tradition (generally fascist, because the past was more friendly to fascism).  Being ONLY CONSULTATIVE will give the Ultimate Crime Directorate greater moral authority. The Roman Senate had only a “consultative” role (in theory). Each such advice, truly a “consultation”, a “Senatus Consultum” was established by vote. The Senate’s powerful influence lasted more than 1,000 years, more than twice longer than the republic itself.

***

Patrice Ayme
https://patriceayme.wordpress.com
http://patriceayme.com/index.html

***

Postscript explaining why an Ultimate Crime Directorate could have avoided the collapse of the Roman republic:

The Ultimate Crime Directorate would have functioned as an ultimate examination system, finding out that what did not look like a crime actually was one, because it violated the spirit of the law. It was what the Roman Senate, or the People needed but did not quite have. The Senate (from “senex”, a board of old men), had thrown out the old Roman monarchy and installed the republic in 510 BCE. The Senate resisted all, from the empire to the Christian dark ages. The Senate actually grew in influence later, under the Barbarians, a full millennium after its birth. Unfortunately the Ostrogoth despot Theodoric made the mistake (he said so himself later) to arrest and kill the Senatus Princeps (president), the famous philosopher Boethius (who wrote the “Consolation of Philosophy” while waiting for his gory execution in 525 CE). Nevertheless, the Senate went on into the seventh century, and was back in business by the tenth (trying to change back Rome into a republic).

The Senate’s shortcoming in the examination of ultimate crimes was crucial in the collapse of the Roman republic into plutocracy and then fascism. It was not an easy mistake to avoid: eighty Senators died in combat, in just one day, at the battle of Cannae (216 BCE), so the Senate was depleted after the Second Punic War. A plutocracy of war profiteers who had stayed safely behind the fortified walls of the cities became dominant (hopefully this is not happening with the USA in Iraq). Three generations later that militarized plutocracy destroyed Carthage, a free republic in Spain, Corinth, and subjugated Greece. Civil wars were next. All this could have been avoided if the Senate, or the People (“populus”) had been able to define, and expose carefully, in a timely manner, the human, republican and democratic rights who had been violated by the profiteers during the war against Hannibal. Instead the Gracchi brothers were reduced to improvise and to try to weaken the Senate (by then colonized by the profiteers) by declaring “senatus consultum ULTIMA” unconstitutional. Of course, the Gracchi were accused in turn of violating the Constitution…
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HOW OBAMA COULD LOSE.

June 29, 2008

TAXES, OR HOW OBAMA COULD LOSE.

***

Warning, abstract, and update Nov. 3, 2008: The text below was written in June 2008. Its gist is that Capital Gains are way overtaxed, especially for the middle class. This has very detrimental effects on national welfare and security, besides being very unfair for the little guys. Thus, we were happy to hear Senator Obama, in October 2008, claim that he would not rise capital gain taxes on people earning less than $250,000 (in other versions Senator Obama apparently suggested to put capital gains to zero for this category, and that is obviously what should be done, especially in light of the catastrophic drops of the markets, which will insure that people will be taxed in the future for gains that they did not make at all: see below for the mechanism at work). Private capitalism cannot work in combination with democracy if investing gets systematically punished for people who do not belong to the plutocracy. (By the way the only alternative to private capitalism is State capitalism, aka Stalinism, and it is unlikely that can work without the Gulag.)

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The threat is in one word indeed: TAXES. Or more exactly: tax expectations. Unrealistic tax expectations is how conservatives have been winning. 

In recent years, conservatives were elected in Germany, France and Italy (they all had big deficits, like the USA). Each time the conservatives proposed to lower taxes. They were not believed as much as their opponents, who proposed to raise them. People prefer to elect who proposes less punishment. Moreover, it’s easier to raise taxes than to lower them, and so it’s more likely that those who propose to raise them will raise them rather than those who propose to lower them will.

In Italy, the billionaire Berlusconi, in his seventies, and thoroughly despised for his preceding years heading the government, unexpectedly crushed the left, vanquishing in a landslide. In France, the conservative Sarkozy promised a “fiscal shield”, according to which nobody could be taxed a total of more than 50% of their income. He was elected, and considerable checks were sent to some of the “rich” (although France has a wealth tax, so the truly rich can’t escape as easily, see below).

On June 26, Obamawas interviewed on Fox TV, and promised unambiguously to raise taxes on the top 5% of taxpayers. He was also asked to associate one word to “Wall Street” and he said: “money”. With a big smile. Within minutes the stock market collapsed, breaking multiyear lows. More than 50% of US voters hold stocks worth more than US $5,000.

Right now the US voters who hold stocks, fed up by years of neofascist reasonings and facts from the Bushmen, barely favor McCain. That may change when they become aware of the plans Obama has for their (at this point utopian) capital gains. Right now the long term (more than 18 months) capital gains tax rate is low, as it should be. It’s only 15%, much less than the income tax rate. This is justified because people who use their capital for investment are not using it for their immediate enjoyment, but for a more common good, and are not just insecure about their return on capital, but also about the return of the capital itself. So a return on invested capital, when there is any, should be rewarded more to compensate for the considerable deferment and losses investing leads to.

It is true that the present 15% rate on capital gains has been grossly abused: some of the richest US taxpayers have been using it… for their income (a gross violation tolerated by Bushmen and democratic Congress alike).

On the contrary, hyper rich people should be proportionally taxed more than modest taxpayers, because the richer one is, the easier it is to become richer. That later phenomenon, which is purely mathematical, has to do with the defining characteristic definition of the exponential function. It has been known for at least 10,000 years (and is the root of various wealth taxes, or even human sacrifices of most old cultures, from Vikings to Carthage).

Barack Obama has been listening to some of the world’s richest men (such as the world’s richest investor, Warren Buffet), and they told him (now that they have made gigantic fortunes), that a capital gain tax rate of up to 29% would be OK. The problem, though, is that capital gains are NOT indexed on inflation. As an asset is held for years, it has to augment in nominal value, just to stay as valuable. (Now how inflation is measured is another exasperating can of worms entirely; in the US the official inflation rate is tweaked so as to undercount it, by careful selection and so called “hedonistic” adjustments.) The practical result is that one has to add the 15% of taxes to how much inflation has occurred while the asset was held (several years in the average). Thus assets held years are affected by two taxes: the one on capital “gains” and inflation. RIGHT NOW THE EFFECTIVE CAPITAL GAINS TAX RATE IS 35%. It is not 15%! It’s much higher!

Except for the hyper rich who have devices to roll continually their money. Indeed, the capital gain tax rate the rich profit from is closer to a true 15%, because hedge fund managers, for example, have only to hold their income 18 months (at the present 4% inflation rate, that means they are taxed 21%). Assuming today’s inflation, and the average holding period of assets, Obama proposes to tax capital gains of the small, average, not to say ridiculous, stock holder at 50%. Assuming the present inflation rate; with an inflation of 6% (which is entirely possible, considering the stratospheric rise of oil), Obama’s tax would be well ABOVE 60%.

This was tried before, in the sixties and seventies: high tax rates on capital gains, and high taxes on income. Investments stopped, stagflation reigned, Reagan got elected (ultimate catastrophe). To this Obamareplies that this time will be different, because he will not tax venture capital (!). Venture capitalists are typically extremely rich people who finance a few ideas on the side to get even richer. It is dubious that they will bring more serious innovations if they are taxed zero. So now the very richest, instead of having a loophole at 15% will have one at 0%!  That change was proposed by Obama! Change you can believe in: the plutocracy will always have a new tax loophole at the ready, if the regime changes.

All McCain has to do is to point out the enormous capital gain tax augmentation Obama proposes for the little guy. This is added to the augmentation of social security tax of 6.2% (starting at $250,000), Whatever the reasons for that augmentation, it will bring US taxes well above 60% in many places. That would be 20% more than the maximum taxation rate in “socialist, welfare state” France!

Right now, because of the housing bubble (still not shrunk), one can earn $300,000 in one of the expensive places (New York, San Francisco), and being unable to afford (decent) housing. The political risk for Obama is clear: people will wonder why he would stop at $250,000 (and anyway that number is not indexed by inflation, either; within a year, it will be already below $240,000 in constant dollars (at 4% inflation, soon to be 6%… in which case it would be only $235,000…)).

WHICH TAXES SHOULD OBAMA PROPOSE?
Obama should propose to leave intact the “Bush tax cuts” for the little guys. The 15% capital gain tax rate should be kept as is (and, better, be indexed on the CPI). For the little guy. So Obama will have to define what “RICH” means. One MILLION DOLLAR in interest and dividends, and/or TWO million dollar in income should define “RICH”.

The question arises of how the government would compensate for the loss of income that not increasing direct taxes on the non rich will bring. Of course, INDIRECT taxes (energy taxes in particular) could be introduced (they would bring huge income, and decrease the US splurge of consumer spending and energy waste; besides, they would bring down the price of crude oil). More simply, the hyper rich (such as some of Obama’s advisers) should be hyper taxed. First a higher tax bracket for the rich should be introduced; if Obama wanted to tax the little guy’s capital gains 50%, he should be even more open to tax the rich 50% on their income (remember the richer one is, the easier it is to get richer, the exponentiation argument).

There is a recent precedent of the crack down by conservatives on the rich, and not just in France. Obama should do as Merkel, the conservative German Chancellor, did: IMITATE FRANCE, AND INTRODUCE A WEALTH TAX. That’s a special tax on the rich that looks at total assets (another tweak on defining the rich).

EUROPEAN CONSERVATIVES RULE BY TAXING MASSIVELY WASTE AND THE RICH (the left, when in power, does the same, overall). That recipe, TAX WASTE, TAX RICH, has proven highly successful for the European economy. The Obama tax program, at this point, does not do either. It punishes the upper middle class, though. Since the later is highly influential, McCain is in better position than he looks.
***

Patrice Ayme,

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com
http://www.patriceayme.com/
***

“Wonkish”, technical addenda:

0) Ever since there has been trade, there has been capital (archeological studies in Australia have uncovered proofs of currency usage and trade on distances in excess of 1,000 kilometers, more than 40,000 years ago already). Systems where the little guy could not invest were tried before: plutocratic imperial Rome on one side, Stalinist imperial Russia on the other. Capital from the little guy is crucial not just to the economy, but to democracy. It’s not just about “money”. “Money” is about power; give no “money’ to the little guy is equivalent to leaving him powerless. But the “cracy” (from Kratos) in democracy means power.

1) Italy, France and Germany together have more voters than the USA. Polls show Great Britain could go “conservative” too (the just elected mayor of London is a maverick conservative). All these European conservatives clamor for change, to the point of making the left look … conservative. But European conservatives all claim to want to alleviate direct taxes on the little guy, and the definition of the little guy includes the upper middle class income earner (who often cannot afford decent housing in cities such as Paris and London, since the truly rich global worldwide plutocracy has driven the prices up).

2) The US total tax receipts are less than 30% of total US GDP (or so they were, before the Bush administration brought them higher, when local taxes are included). The OECDaverage was 36% in 2007, and it’s higher in Europe. Europe is clearly doing better economically than the USA at this point, so one could argue that the total US tax receipts should be brought up. The world’s record in taxation is Sweden, witharound 50% of GDP. France is below 44% (with an individual “shield” at 50%). Italy is at 42%. Obama is talking about raising the upper middle class tax rates at levels that are known to have caused, time and time again, total revulsion in Europe (anything above 50%). Europe can generate high tax incomes without taxing wages and salaries and capital gains too much by using consumption and user fees taxes. The Added Value Tax, in particular, and very high energy taxes make tax evasion impossible, and represent MOST of the tax income, and TWEAK THE ENTIRE ECONOMY IN A WISER, MORE EFFICIENT DIRECTION. The income tax system is used in reverse: half of French income earners de facto pay no tax on income. Besides education and health care are free, and public transportation heavily subsidized.

3) The so called “Laffer curve” says that as one increases the percentage of taxed income too much, economic activity goes down (because people are less motivated to work), and so the total tax revenues go down. As Ibn Khaldun, a 14th century Muslim philosopher, puts it: “It should be known that at the beginning of the dynasty, taxation yields a large revenue from small assessments. At the end of the dynasty, taxation yields a small revenue from large assessments.” This observation was at the heart of the so called “supply side economics” of Ronald Reagan’s era. The “Laffer curve” was drawn and explained by French economists (Bastiat, etc.) in the mid nineteenth century. That is why the modern French economic planners invented the AVT and heavy energy taxes: those taxes turn around taxing income directly, that is too dispiriting. An interesting warning: the upper bracket of US income taxation was brought up from 29% to 62% by the Hoover administration in… 1929, and the Great Depression started within months.

4) The US economy is actually full of subsidies, and will do much better when many of these are transmogrified into taxes instead. One has to distinguish what is in the common good (say, trains) and what is not (subsidized corporate jets serving the rarefied plutocracy; corporate jets are heavily subsidized by common taxpayers, but they don’t know about it).

5) Why are Obama’s advisers seemly unaware of the preceding? Well, maybe some have hidden agendas. Trojan horses were not invented yesterday. Some may want to stake their leftist reputation; others may outright act as double agents (wanting Obama to fail by giving him subtly poisonous advice, like Buffet, or amused Venture Capitalists, or subtly directing taxation away from themselves); others, like those who suggest to tax the innocent middle class hard, and the hyper rich venture capitalists not at all, have no decency whatsoever (but this bold tactic worked well for top Clinton/Obama plutocratic adviser Rubin, so why not?). The University Of Chicago economy department has been known as a friend of the Hyper Rich, and Obama main economy tax adviser is a professor there (just as Obama was). That individual justified the Venture Capital loophole, boldly, and completely, by calling it “The Future”.

And what of the Obamas themselves? What is their relationship to work and money, and investing? Well, as Michelle Obama herself pointed out, they could not make ends meet until Obama’s juicy book contracts (of the sort politicians get: big money in advance, complete with ghost writers). Mrs. Obama herself financially appears to have profited from her nomination on a corporate board (another usual arrangement in the environment of a politician). I do not say she did. But she certainly appears. And appearance is all what can be ascertained in such a case. When money and power has grown out of magic “community organizing”, why not persist with the magic? Well Europeans don’t believe in magic anymore, and, someday, Americans will join them: change we can believe in.

6) Some pundits on the right have been surprised that McCain has been talking about other things rather than the obvious subject above. The reason pertains to the sort of elementary Machiavellism fishermen are familiar with. McCain is waiting, just like the fisherman who feels that the fish is taking the bait waits. The fish should not be hooked too early. If Obama persists with his hare brain tax plan, he will be stuck with it. When he realizes his mistake, it will be too late to pull out without being accused of major flip-flopping. Let’s notice than in Italy the electorate misled the pollsters: their hearts were beating strongly on the left, but their pocketbooks were on the right, and they voted with the later. Indeed, why not?

WHY YOUR BRAIN LIES TO YOU.

June 28, 2008

It’S ALL ABOUT HOW IT’S MADE, AND HOW MUCH IT COSTS.

We present some educated guesses for the emergence of lying, according to the overall nature of the brain and of thermodynamics.

Neuroscientists Sam Wang and Sandra Aamodt published: “Your Brain Lies to You”. (New York Times, June 27, 2008). Lying behavior has been verified and quantified in the laboratory. There are different mechanisms: source amnesia (it can lead to outright lying: a famous Hungarian proverb says that one should not complain about having one’s hat stolen, because the only thing people may remember about you is the theft of a hat). Another way the brain can lie is by sheer repetition (repeating “whatever” leads to believe in that “whatever”, whatever it is). Another well tested lie is the ready acceptance of new data compatible with what we already believe, while fiercely rejecting it, if it is not compatible with prejudice.

The authors point out that memories are fist stored short term in a special organ, the hippocampus (which is known to grow if short term memory is solicited too much, as in candidates trying to gather “The Knowledge” when presenting the exam for taxicab driver in London). Later the memories are increasingly transferred to the cortex, but each time they are read, they are used and partly rebuilt. So memories are not stable to start with.

Why does the brain lie? Well, first, it has no alternative. The brain tries to build complicated little networks inside itself to model what it perceives to be the behavior of the little black boxes of reality. It takes years to make neurological circuitry capable of as simple a behavior as walking. For more complicated, less important situations, there is no (evolutionary) reason perfection should be achieved (considering how long drawn and costly it is). Still, even in cases like that, some answer needs to be available, even if it is completely wrong, so that the curiosity instinct can move to somewhere else more important (say on the other side of the hill). Socrates was aware of this tendency of fabricating fake knowledge, and made a big deal of it (he insisted that he knew that he knew nothing  – that may have been true in his case, but it’s another story).

Secondly, the brain tries to maximize truthiness while minimizing energy. The brain is an energy guzzler (20% of energy at rest). So economy is paramount, and thus a simpler explanation is best, even if completely wrong (as long as survival is not as stake). If survival is not in question, the best answer is one that serves convenience, or comfort. Always with the minimum of neurological processing. That’s why “source amnesia” occurs: why to remember what has little value looking forward?

Now, of course, a particularly expensive (in energy currency) part of brain activity is learning. it requires heavy duty brain construction (say modifying the geometry of synapses by erecting contact points, or by increased glial activity, or by extending new dendrites or creating new neurons). So, to save energy, the brain should avoid learning as much as possible, hence use preexisting logical structures as much as possible. To do this, the brain is equipped with strong blocking instincts (“denial”) against any paradigms destroying information. (A preferred trick to do this is to come up with a neat small “anti-idea”, or “anti-emotion”, or “anti-behavior” which demolishes at the outset any incoming information before it can really land and explode the preexisting paradigm.)

Inside a brain, indeed, any paradigm is a giant, very elaborate neurological and neuroglial structure. To protect it saves energy (and response capability, since it was established precisely because it could answer some situations or questions).

A third reason for the brain to lie is that human beings are highly social: they are made to live in groups, so groupthink and groupfeel are preferred, to make fewer waves. Fascism is the surrender of one’s mind to that of the leader of the group. It’s a very strong instinct, because it insured the survival of the species. Basically creative thinking should be reserved to emergency situations, far from the group (that’s why philosophers and prophets go to the desert). Groupthink does not have to be true, just good for the group.

Fourth, repetition leads to obsession. Words are neurological hyperlinks between thoughts, emotions, and even plain motions. By repeating them, one activates repeatedly all the circuitry related to them, thus simple insistence (by the “Hebbian” mechanism of synaptic built up described above) builds, de facto, a new paradigm (that’s why large systems of thought such as religions have ceremonials with mantras). It’s like digging a grand canyon with a great river. 

Fifth, it has been found that conscious decisions are prepared up to ten seconds before the sense of free will is perceived. Experimenters watching brain scans can predict well in advance what people are going to do, even people have decided to do something (or so they think). So even free will is a lie. There are demons in the machine, and they think about it all well before they have taken built the architecture they are going to use for us. See the Wall Street Journal, “Get Out Of Your Own Way“, June 27 for a good synopsis. In other words, conscious thought is like an illusion of a general heading legions of ghosts he did not know existed. How could it tell the truth?

The main way we advance civilization, even before finding new energy sources, is by finding new ideas, and the deepest ones come from new psychoanalysis. Even the hardest science is all about psychoanalysis: Relativity Theory reconsidered what space and time was; it was found out that the old assumptions on space and time rested on naïve beliefs and hurried observations. Poincare’, the great mathematician, in a little philosophical book that influenced Einstein mightily, pointed out a sharper criterion about what it meant, “to know” (a criterion that had escaped Socrates entirely). That psychoanalytic, epistemological criterion put the speed of light front and center as the foundation on which to build our ideas about space and time.

Now that we know why we lie, we can avoid lying to those we love, like ourselves. That will make us more powerful (a weighty argument as energy gets ever more dear…)

The advancement of neuroscience allows our civilization to start building a more refined version of the THEORY OF THEORIES. What the human brain had to do all along, with much more modest capabilities of reflection.
***

Patrice Ayme,
Tyranosopher.

http://www.patriceayme.com/
https://patriceayme.wordpress.com

References: Op-Ed, NYT, June 27, Your Brain Lies To You

WSJ, June 27 2008, Get Out Of Your Own Way

ISLAM VERSUS EUROPE.

June 26, 2008

WHY TO PRAISE ISLAM, EACH TIME ONE EVOKES THE MIDDLE EAST, WHEN EUROPEAN CIVILIZATION WAS DEFINED, AND PROGRESSED DRAMATICALLY, BY ENSLAVING ISLAM’S MENTOR, CHRISTIANITY, SINCE 496 CE?
***

MISREADING THE QUR’AN BECAUSE IT LOOKS GOOD:
Roger Cohen suggests that Obama, in an apparent imitation of Bush praising the Qur’an days after 9/11, should "come to Islam without prejudice". Cohen insists that Islam confers humanity and wisdom: "From Beirut to Baghdad to Cairo to Istanbul, [Roger Cohen has] often felt the wonders of hospitality and generosity and wisdom that seem to well from Islam" [NYT/IHT, June 26]. It is a strange notion.

When Roger goes to Paris, does he feel the "hospitality and generosity and wisdom that seem to well from" Christianity? Or was that Islam again? (After all there are millions of people of "Islam" ancestry in France). Oopss, sorry, we forgot the French are profoundly secular and gaily pagan. Does that make the French neither hospitable, nor generous, nor wise? What about China? No religion there. No welling of goodness either?

Why not let people be "hospitable and generous and wise" from their own humanity? Since when is a religion supposed to own a piece of the planet, and the people are supposed to be so defined by said religion, all the way down to their most basic humanity, that they presumably would be deprived of it otherwise? Wait, hum… Is that an Abrahamic reasoning? Our God gave us everything? How is that working in Jerusalem? What about the West Bank? Generous, hospitable and wise all over?

Cohen brushes off the mayhem and terror Islam encourages, according to the typical murderous-religion-apologist mental pattern. Says he: "When, in 2005, I talked to the Somalian-born Dutch author Ayaan Hirsi Ali in a meeting in The Hague that had to be organized like an undercover operation because of threats to her life from Islamic radicals, I was struck by her words: "Islam is not a religion of peace, or only of peace with other Muslims. We should acknowledge that it’s a VERY VIOLENT RELIGION, INSTEAD OF PRETENDING, like Bush, that this violence is not true Islam." Another one who was sort of pretending was Benazir Bhutto. She used mental contortions in her book to say that Islamic violence in the Qur’an was hopefully not what it looked like, otherwise there was no hope (she admitted). Before the book was published, she had been exploded by fans of the Qur’an with an entire fanatical Qur’an lovers organization behind them. Long live Allah!

Cohen is not finished with his apology of violence. Says he hopefully: "Certainly, there are Koranic verses that Al Qaeda and other extremists have been able to use in attempts to sanctify their murderous acts. Certainly Islam, politically expressed, has often proved irreconcilable with modern notions of pluralism, democracy and women’s rights. But a "very violent religion?" No." How does Cohen knows this? Because of the welling quoted above (which is totally irrelevant).

In truth the Qur’an is one of the most violent book ever written. It’s somewhere up there with the worst the Marquis de Sade ever wrote (a difference though is that Sade was writting a parody, but the adulators of the Qur’an are so dead serious, they do not view the Qur’an as a parody, even when Jews are made into monkeys and pigs and God orders girls to be raped as soon as captured, instead of procrastinating). Now, of course, all the mayhem makes the Qur’an into one of the most fun book to read. The mix of righteousness and atrociousness is hard to resist, as one expects God’s discourse to be. Oh, by the way, the most violent Qur’an fundamentalists have counted nearly 200 hyper violent verses in the 400 pages of the Qur’an. (Question: how many hyper violent sentences in Hitler’s "Mein Kampf"? Answer: none, proving Hitler was not God). Whereas Jesus called to kill non believers in very few places, calls to murder are all over the Qur’an (and it finishes with a total apocalypse, in the original Christian style: God destroys all cities).
***

US PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES SHOULD NOT CONFUSE HUMANITY AND RELIGIOUS SUPERSTITION:
Since when should US presidential candidates "come to Islam"? Because Obama was friendly to Christianity? But, as it turns out, Obama has been highly critical of the Bible already two years ago (June 06). No doubt that if Obama extended his critique of Leviticus and other parts of the Bible to the corresponding passages parroted in the Qur’an more than a millennium later, he would be branded a dangerous racist, full of "prejudice" against poor Islam and its subjected Muslims. Is there also a thing such as postjudice?

Obama is candidate to the presidency of the USA, a SECULAR republic. That point may have escaped the neofascists recently, as they tried to hypnotize the USA with their own Christian Qur’an that they ended up believing in their turbo charged ignorance.

As the United States asserted in the Treaty of Tripoli more than two centuries ago: "As the Government of the United States of America is NOT IN ANY SENSE FOUNDED ON THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries." (1796).

Well, history decided otherwise. Sorry about the existence of facts. It may have been noted that some elements of the "Mehomitan nation" have "entered in an act of hostility" as a result of some religious interpretations made by bin Laden and company of some sacred texts of Islam (bin Laden has written about his religious motivations forever, and certainly hundreds of suicide bombers over the years had no other motivation but a literal interpretation of the Qur’an).
***

HUMANITY DOES NOT REDUCE TO JUST ONE SYSTEM OF THOUGHT:
One should not confuse people and the systems of thought they use. People use ready made systems of thought, but, occasionally, they are bigger than that. When Hitler thought it was smart to put the "Butcher of Sevastopol" in charge of Paris, with the order to destroy it all and fight house to house as in Stalingrad (or, later, Koenigsberg or Berlin), he got a nasty surprise. His super Nazi rabid general in whom he had complete confidence, changed systems of thought. The "Butcher" negotiated with the Parisian resistance, and procrastinated until a French armored division rushed into Paris (preventing SS Panzer divisions to make it).

Saying smallpox is bad does not mean people with smallpox are bad. If someone views Islam as a smallpox of a system of thought it does not mean people ravaged by it are themselves smallpox. Let’s not confuse the disease, and the patient. Nazism was an obvious smallpox of a system of thought, still most Nazis were forgiven, and, sure enough, taught the better notions, they amended their ways.

It’s condescending, a form of "Orientalism", to look down on Middle Eastern denizens and to say that Islam is good for those children, and we should respect their father Christmas stories with jihad wrapped around the waist. Presumably, such a point of view takes for granted that the children would not be "hospitable and generous and wise" if they did not have big daddy Islam to tell them how to be human in a human way.
***

THE FOUNDING ACT OF MODERN WESTERN CIVILIZATION WAS TO GET RID OF FASCIST CHRISTIANITY:
Of course, in the West, the Franks got rid of Christianity in 496 CE. But never mind, we Westerners are not children. We are masters of our destiny, and if there is a God, it’s ourselves.

Christianity was basically invented, and certainly imposed, by the worst Roman emperors, late, degenerate types prone to murder all what moved. As those went down the garbage chute of history, Christianity was left all alone, facing the Franks, who had been quietly hostile to Christianity for many generations (although they helped Constantine conquer the entire empire). The last Roman secular army defeated by the Christian army was headed by the top Roman general, a Frank (in the very costly battle of Mursa, 351 CE). Shortly after this the Caesar Julian made Paris his headquarters, and, pushed by his Frankish legions, rebelled against the fanatic Christian emperor the Augustus Constantius II. Having become absolute emperor, Julian started to dismantle Christianity, but was quickly killed. The Franks had to wait another 135 years to clamp down definitively on the mad theocracy (but only in the West; to this day the East is ravaged by mentally challlenged theocracy).

Let me explain: in 496 CE the Salic Franks established their empire, which, propped by the superior values the Greco-Romans had been deprived of, quickly took control of Western Europe. The Franks were ruled by SALIAN LAW, something secular written in Latin centuries before. Salian law was NOT Christian law. NO SHARIAH FOR EUROPE! Actually Salian law allowed for all sorts of religions (it had been written generations before the Christian madness had been imposed on Rome). In particular the Jews got equal rights under the Franks (those rights were fleetingly robbed again seven centuries later, under the resurgent influence of the Christian madness, but that’s a side track). The Franks were no friends of rabid theocracies. After crushing Christianity and generously teaching it the few tricks it needed to know, as if it were a dog, the Franks were confronted to the Muslim invaders. The Franks viewed the Muslims as new, particularly dangerous Christians, coming down from a woman called "Sara". The Franks called themselves "EUROPEANS", in a clear reference to the Greeks and Thermopile. As the fateful war against Islam started, the Franks did not call themselves Christians.

The Muslim armies, propelled by their rabid interpretation of the Quran, had just wasted North Africa, killing the cities down to the last. They moved amazingly fast after the long war in North Africa. They lurched to Spain where they crushed the ruling Visigoths in a few years. For relaxation and future reference, the Berber and Arab armies then killed 20% of the bystanders, the innocent Catholic population (which was itself no friend of the Aryan Visigoths).

Ignorant of all and any, except that Francia was the land of riches, the Muslim armies then penetrated the Regnum Francorum ("Francia"). They were crushed at Toulouse, in a classic maneuver by Eodo Dux Aquitaniorum. The Syrian army was then rebuilt, and invaded again, 11 years later. After wasting a good third of Francia, it was demolished at Poitiers by Charles Martel. The ignorant "martyrs" did not realize that they were facing a drafted army supported by massive taxation and expropriation (of the Christian church), they had no concept of any of these notions. Charles’ army was the best trained professional army since the heyday of the Roman empire, forming the largest phalanx which ever was. The Franks knew the Muslim well, they had sent sophisticated spies ever since the Arabs tried to write Arabic. The Franks were not amused to be deprived of paper, and spices, and all trade with the East and the South by the Arab embargo.

The Damas based, Syrian Caliphate tried again. Invading Francia was crucial to their plan to stab Constantinople in the back. In their ignorance, they did not realize that Constantinople itself had never dared to attack the Franks. The next Syrian invasion was land and sea, even more massive. They gave it their all. The Franks had boosted their expensive heavy cavalry, inventing feudalism on the way. Severe battles ensued, the worst being Narbonne. This time the destruction of the Syrian army was so extensive, that the Caliphate back in Damas had no more army, and it fell. The Arabs lost control of their own Caliphate (and would never, ever regain it). Be respectful, please; Ossama bin Laden is still crying about it in his cave. The Iranians swooped in and moved the capital of the Caliphate to Baghdad.
***

WHEREAS ISLAM RULED THE ISLAMISTS, CHRISTIAN LAW NEVER RULED THE WEST AFTER 496 CE:
Ever since the elected Frankish king Clovis, Roman imperator and Consul, established his Roman style government in Francia, Europe was ruled by secular law. The frankly racist Salian law was progressively replaced by more equalitarian and sophisticated Roman law. Christianity had nothing to do with it. Eating pigs, or whatever, was OK. Having Jews (or, for that matter, Syrians) around, without forcing them to wear distinctive clothing, was also OK. Actually Jews were citizens with full rights. There were no special taxes for the non Catholics (whereas Islam, unsatisfied with just marking non Muslims, taxed them hard, and deprived them of many rights. "Insulting" Islam resulted in horrible, torturous death, proving that, at heart, Islam had nothing to do with God (presumably capable of defending itself), but everything to do with terror. As the Franks outlawed slavery, Islam rendered it universal. the tale of two civilization: one going forward, the other full speed backwards.

It turned out that a further crack down on Christianity was needed later in the later Middle Ages and Renaissance, when secular power realized that playing with the fascist theocratic system of thought was not just too dangerous, but perfectly useless. As Christianity proved itself to be vicious (cf. the Crusades, and the mental terror the Christian fanatics exerted on Europe, starting with that young fascist madman, "Saint" Bernard), secular power, and not just the governments, exerted overwhelming pressure on it. Christianity survived by proclaiming itself to be the "religion of love" (one can see this in the evolution of religious art: hell and flames dear to the Christian founders disappear after 1300, and are replaced by ethereal vision of cherubs and tender mothers). (One can see nowadays Islam trying to duplicate that Christian love trick in a few places.)

If nothing else, fascist Christianity made people stupid, and when Europeans understood this, they completely quit their addiction to Jesus and his ilk.

An illustration: Spanish monarchs thought smart to use the Inquisition for their secular ends, and watched lots of people being tickled by flames during large shows (providing with entertainment). But then the fascist theocratic Christian monster went too far, throwing the Jews and Muslims out, and even terrorizing the Christians. Christian fascism of the inquisitive type kept on mutating, and oppressing the land, burning innocent girls all the way until the late 18th century. religious fascism extended all the way to the fascist Franco and Opus Dei, in a monster civil war against the secular republic. It turned out to be a disaster for Spain. Modern Spain then shook the addiction, and followed the model of the French revolution, getting rid of Christianity entirely. Homosexual marriage is now the law of that land, in a slap to "Saint" Paul.
***

WHAT IS ISLAM ANYWAY?
"Islam" was a house divided, from the start. Muhammad’s family went to war against the inventor of the Qur’an. Approving blindly the Qur’an is actually taking sides in an Islamist religious war. Perhaps one should view that ancient struggle as Islam against Qur’an (as strange as it may sound). It was a major political, and civilizational fight. Meanwhile Christianity stood there, basically irrelevant to the flow of civilization. The Franks used it a tool and weapon, when they so pleased.

Islam is Christianity light. By "Christianity" we mean the original strong stuff, not the nice doggie the Franks turned it into in 496 CE. Still the initial, imperial Christianity was such a horribly fascist thing that its Islam ersatz has also proven horribly conducive to fascism, like original Christianity. Islam actually means Submission. That Quranic Islam brought us Saddam Hussein, bin Laden, the Shah of Iran, and countless despots over the centuries. The Fuehrerprinzip of Adolf Hitler, the very core of the Nazi doctrine, is explicitly an order of the Qur’an ("Obey those of yours who are in power!" S.4; v. 59).

Islam made the Middle East, long ago the fulcrum of civilization and representative democracy, into something where the height of inspiration is to recite the same 400 pages that the dictator Uthman ordered written 14 centuries ago. As is now well established in neurology, constant repetition of the same word assemblies creates a circuitry, hence a reality of its own (Hebbian effect).
***

SECULARISM IS CHANGE, JUDEO-CHRISTO-ISLAMISM, MAYHEM:
The second great Judeo-Christo-Islamic war was the Judean war, when Jewish religious extremists attacked Rome, and each other, and other Jews (66-73 CE; also known as the first (of three) Jewish-Roman war). At some point the legions bombarded Jerusalem with pig heads. One million humans died. Not a good omen for what followed.   

US presidential candidates should stay clear from mad religions that were considered as primitive and civilizationally destructive by the truly wise already 14 centuries ago.

Christianity was a fascist slave religion, severely anti-intellectual. Islam was much more war like (as Hitler noticed) and a bit less anti-intellectual. Both came to power because they gave the fascists who invented them the philosophical and metaphysical background they needed to reach new heights of despotism (an immense part of so called Christianity is the work of emperors Constantine and Theodosius, and commissions led by them; inspired by this example, the Qur’an was written by a commission named by the Arab emperor Uthman).

Both Christianity and Islam, though, self destroyed because they soon acted as WEAPONS OF MIND DESTRUCTION.

After the disaster of the Dark Ages, the Franks used Christianity as a sword, a tool, even a remedy for getting civilization restarted.  Christianity was useful to Charlemagne, when he conquered the savage northern Germans and other heathens (he invented all the tricks used in North America by the English settlers to get rid of the Natives). Christianity was useful, early on, to give the Conquistadores and the English settlers good conscience as they massacred the American natives.

Islam nearly conquered the world as its religiously crazed warriors, persuaded they would go to heavens with the virgins if they only died in combat, tried to conquer the world in three generations (after a first invasion of India, they were checked by Constantinople, crushed by the Franks, more lucky against the Chinese (750), but the first invasion of Indonesia failed). But its very spectacular success, and the fact it freed half of "Christianity" from Christianity itself lured the populations in believing there was nothing wrong with it. Ultimately, the Muslims submitted to their own Islamic sword (and, figuratively speaking, it cut their heads off). Islam became just a battle field of Qur’an inspired maniacs (the lands of the Franks were much more peaceful, until the Crusades; religious wars, which were terrible when Christianity was imposed only resurfaced a millennium later, at the end of the Middle Ages during the resurgence of Christian fascism).

Obama wants change, not an eternal return of the old fascist past with its hundreds of millions killed by religion.

Don’t scoff. Auschwitz is, first of all, a religious phenomenon. Auschwitz is a Judeo-Christo-Islamic story: the Nazis invented neither the fanatical hatred of the Jew, nor most of the methods. It gets more ironical, and a warning. Anti-Judaism basking in hatred, which is plastered all over the "sacred" Qur’an (just read it, it’s fun!), was a Christian invention.

Islam, Christianity’s slavish imitator, adopted anti-Judaism with enthusiasm (Muhammad developed some personal grievances with his ex-friends and hosts, the Jews). Those who want to thank Christianity for its contribution to civilization may as well thank Hitler (who got supported by his fan the Pope Pi XII).

After all, the Christians tried to massacre the Jews in a holocaust when they had power (5th century). And those distinctive yellow adornments the Nazis required the Jews to wear? You guessed it: another great invention of Islam (8th c.).

Enough. Let the primitives move back to the past in their time machine. Those who live in their age (seculum) have won all the battles that really mattered. Oh, but wait… Our planet is now so small they have nowhere to go but our own backyard? Well, then, I guess one will have to instruct everybody about what is bad, and what is good, and what is up, and what’s down. And also about what’s totally uncivilized (and that goes for the invasion of Iraq by ignorant Bushmen). Just as the Bible defines a lot of what is totally uncivilized, so does the Qur’an (it’s basically the same book, no wonder; except in regard to what to do with girls). The Bible, though, became irrelevant in 496 CE. Whereas the Qur’an became the law of Islamic lands after 656 CE. Time to move on, and join our age, our seculum.

Ah, to answer the question in the title: if one wants to keep control of some subjects, it’s better to keep them divided and stupid. Hence the interest some who should know better, in Europe and America, to provide regions of Islamic background with the perverse advice that they should go about Christianity’s child, Islam, with a much more tolerant attitude than the one Europe herself benefited from the start (that is right after it was observed that Christianity’s main gift was the Dark Ages)… 
***

Patrice Ayme,
Tyranosopher.

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/

DEFLATING THE OIL BUBBLE.

June 21, 2008

HOW TO FIX THE COMMODITY FUTURES’ MARKET.

 

Conservatives cling to the belief of the eternal return of the same. In particular they hope that sweet crude oil will always gush just the same, in the clear blue, unpolluted sky. In their world there is no greenhouse, temperatures are perfect always, glaciers stay put, and crude oil will always gush out, it’s just a matter of drilling some more. So, as stratospheric oil prices threaten, US conservatives and market suspicious French illiberals have joined in a chorus accusing the commodities markets and their futures of having driven the price up by speculation. 

This is partly silly: most biophysical and geological resources are limited. Once used up, that’s it. They don’t come back. A lot of the run up in commodities is driven by scarcity. Not only is the world’s population quintupling in one lifetime, but the resource usage per person has skyrocketed, whereas the energy technology has stagnated. Nevertheless, there is something to the cries heard around the world to limit leveraged speculation in some crucial commodities, as we will explain.

The Futures Market was created in the US Middle West as a form of insurance for farmers. A very high leverage allowed them to afford such insurance at a cost much smaller than the cost of producing the commodity (as it should, because producing the commodity is their main social contribution on planet Earth). This is why a leverage as high as 1 to 7 are entirely justified, for such producers.

For example, if a farmer invested enormously in his crops, his work, his planting, his fertilizers, and his employees, he could still break even in case of a catastrophic flood, drought, or collapse of prices, by selling the market short, because his financial gain would compensate for his losses in agriculture, if any. The same reasoning holds for the producers of other commodities; the futures’ market in that commodity insure them handsomely. So far, so good.

But now investors not connected to the commodities can invest in them. This provides "liquidity", and that’s OK. This trading by investors exterior to the underlying business profits a bit the commodity producers themselves, because, knowing the business better, the latter can trade more cogently. But those "exterior" investors (to use a neologism) can use the same outrageous leverage as the producers, although they do not have the justification to the world community that they are insuring an underlying business profitable to the world (as the commodity producers do).

The sweet crude oil market, and the related (in two ways) grain markets are long term bull markets (scarcity and populations going up).

For example, everything indicates that we have passed (sweet crude) peak oil. Oil sands (1% of world oil production in 2008, expected to go to 3% in 2020) and (utopian) shale oils present huge pollution and extraction problems. A strike against mighty Iran would immediately cut off 25% of the world oil supply (by closing the straight of Ormuz), propelling oil towards $300. Using huge leverage in such mostly one way bull markets is spectacular for speculators. And relatively safe for them to do. Thus the leverage contributes to the spiking of the prices (since we are after peak oil, Saudi Arabia cannot quickly add a million barrels of oil a day, to collapse the price, as it did in the past; half a million in six months has been more like it).

So the solution is plain and simple: allow leverage in the futures market for producers, as it is now, and make it illegal, or at least reduce it for investors who are not producers of the underlying commodity.

In general, access to extreme leverage has made rich money manipulators around the world much richer. Investment banks in the US (some now bankrupt) have used leverage of 1 to 33 (!). Hedge funds have gaily leveraged completely illiquid assets the value of which cannot be ascertained (on the book, in the trillions, in practice, nothing much). This has caused instability to the world financial system, and from there to its economy, and now its food intake. It’s time to put the house in order, and de-leverage (the market is doing this quickly, but worldwide laws should be enacted to avoid a repeat, and punishment should be administered, because a lot of these activities were a form of organized crime).

Patrice Ayme 

http://patriceayme.com/

NEUTRALITY AS AN ATROCITY.

June 20, 2008

MAKING SENSE OF IRELAND.

Introduction: Ireland (following France and the Netherlands) voted against the newest version of the European Constitution, the Lisbon Treaty, supposed to replace the inappropriate Nice Treaty; only 110,000 voters made the difference and momentarily blocked the attempt by half a billion European citizens to find a European wide governmental system not depending upon unanimity (as it does now). Because Eire went from being the poorest to the richest EU country (except for tiny Luxembourg) Roger Cohen told a few virulent truths about the Irish mindset ("The muck of the Irish", June 19, 2008: …."when it comes to sheer electoral crassness, it’s hard to beat what the Irish have just done.").

Going into the Irish bog even where Cohen did not dare, we use the occasion to reexamine the concept of neutrality (which was brandished as a reason to vote no). A hyper democratic European Union cannot tolerate "neutrality" from one of its members anymore than the USA could tolerate "neutrality" from one of its states. We explain why.
*****

NEUTRALITY AS NAZISM IN DISGUISE:

Ireland is a neutral country. That is very important, say the Irish. But an inspection of history shows that "neutral" is a code word. It’s all about the Nazi code of conduct: see and hear no evil, so one can do plenty.

After eight months of war with France and Britain, the full, all-out Nazi offensive in spring 1940 started by invading Belgium and the Netherlands, which also were "neutral" countries. Until that point that meant they did not have enough moral backbone to oppose Hitler, just as the USA. But that soon turned into a much darker abyss.

The French army was called to the rescue, in a trap set up by Hitler (who cut the French armored quick reaction force army’s seven divisions from behind as it rushed across Belgium and the Netherlands, flying to the rescue of the now squealing "neutrals"). The treacherous refusal of Belgium to build the Maginot line through its territory (as it was supposed to) allowed the ten Nazi Panzer divisions to break through from behind the French and the British Expeditionary Force. In other words, the "neutral" status of Belgium and the Netherlands played a crucial role in the French defeat, and was central to Hitler’s ingenious and highly perfidious plan. Belgium and the Netherlands suffered a lot during the rest of the war, one of the many ways of showing that neutrality encourages atrocity.

Other "neutral" European countries did not suffer physically: they were too keen to help the Fuehrer to come in harms’ way. During W.W.II Ireland, Sweden and Switzerland were "neutral" countries, a bit like the German population was "neutral" about terrorizing and torturing minorities, invading Europe, allowing Auschwitz, etc… All these "neutral" people, who heard no evil from the Nazis, and saw no evil from the Nazis, helped and enabled Hitler’s madness.

Switzerland helped the Nazis in many ways. Financially, by providing the Nazis with life and wealth insurance, and a "neutral" window to interface with the rest of the world, or even industrially. IBM, which was in charge of all and any Nazi computing, managed its thousands of Nazi computers and engineers from New York, through its office in Geneva. A Swiss factory was profusely making ball bearings that ended up in the Reich (where they were very much in demand because the US Air Force bombed devastatingly the ball bearing factories in Nazi occupied Europe). Exasperated, a US Air Force air armada dropped all its bombs on said Swiss factory. The Americans diplomatically explained that they got lost, and accidentally lightened up on the factory. Suitably impressed, the Swiss concentrated thereafter on less controversial ways to extract money from Nazism and its various victims.

Sweden was even more important to Hitler. It provided the Nazi dictator with gigantic quantities of iron to build his forces with, throughout the war. France and Britain decided to cut that "iron road" in spring 1940, by attacking "neutral" Sweden through northern Norway. The full Nazi attack on France interrupted that (the French Foreign Legion was recalled back to the motherland).

The last, but not least of Hitler’s "neutral" helpers was Ireland. It helped the Nazis in many ways during the war, refusing to collaborate in the maritime war against the Nazi submarines (killing indirectly thousands of Allied sailors), and throwing back the Jewish refugees in the sea, so to speak.

Sweden, and especially Switzerland are aware of their cowardly betrayal of civilization. Not so Ireland. On April 31, 1945, the German Chancellor and President, Adolf Hitler, committed suicide. By then, it was completely documented that the Nazis had exterminated millions of innocents. Pictures of women and children inmates near death from starvation, and of piles of bodies of dead civilians in camps, had gone all around the world, as well dressed Germans passed by to examine the holocaust they had worked for. But that is not the sorrow that Ireland officially experienced. On May 1, 1945, the republic of Ireland sent its condolences to the new Fuehrer, Admiral Doenitz, about the death of his predecessor, Adolf Hitler (in at least three different ways). Eire should celebrate that day every year, to remember what Irish "neutrality" practically meant.

Ireland claims to be a neutral country. The idea is that it was invaded by Vikings and then the English. The Vikings destroyed completely the old Irish civilization, a sunny mix of Christianity and the old Irish ways. That was very sad, and many books buried more than a millennium ago, sole remnants of an assassinated civilization, are still found. Neutrality is very important, say the Irish, and they lie. In the twentieth century Ireland was a free rider on civilization, the sort of moral vampire sucking civilization dry which made Nazism possible by claiming grotesque cognitive and moral impairment. The truth is brutal, but not as much as Nazism.

It’s important for Europe to listen to what the Irish are trying to say, in case they make sense somewhere. But they should not be taken too seriously. They have denazification to conduct first.

Patrice Ayme,
Tyranosopher.

YOUR MONEY AND YOUR LIFE: US HEALTH CARE IN FULL.

June 18, 2008

 

Paul Krugman observes that: “… because of all those middle-class tax cuts in the Obama plan, [Obama] collects only 0.4% of GDP more in taxes than McCain. The tax collection comes from different people: lower and middle-income Americans would be substantially better off under the Obama plan. But where is the money for health care reform?” (June 18).
 
 “Money is the problem with the existing US health care system. It is not the solution. US health care is about twice more expensive than the European health care systems in term of share of GDP. US private companies spend a lot of energy barring, harassing or second guessing doctors until the later either give up on a lot of exams and treatment, or are so slowed down in their care, they just cannot provide it. That is how the private sectors create profits in health care: by denial of service.
 Thus throwing more money at the problem should not be the first line of treatment for US health care. One cannot simply send more money to the same profiteers, and hope things will improve.
 Instead one should look back from afar at what is going on: private health care “providers” conspire by employing personnel to withdraw medical care from the population. “Your money and your life” is the practical motto of the private US health care exploitation scheme, a new low in civilization. Profiteering with people’s life and health should be made ILLEGAL. And yes we can: the RICO Act will provide Congress with plenty of ammunition.
 Once making money by interfering with doctors has been made illegal, US style private health care providers will be MUCH LESS PROFITABLE. The private, profit oriented motive will lose traction in basic health care. Medicare and Medicaid will be able to come along and GOBBLE the entire for-profit US health care system, once it is weakened as a capitalist juggernaut.
 As far as rising money for that later phase, the USA should be encouraged to join the rest of civilization, and reduce its energy usage (which is a multiple, per person, of what is achieved in Western Europe). That can only be done by increasing energy taxes, providing the Federal government with huge income. The plan should be to exchange Special Utility Vehicules against health care. Of course, it would be unwise to mention this before November 5, 2008.
 Patrice Ayme
 

 

SUBSIDIZED TRANSPORTATION CONTRIBUTES TO THE WORLD ENERGY CRISIS.

June 17, 2008

The transportation-subprime-credit-real estate bubble-dollar-oil-commodities-agricultural-inflation-globalization crisis is one global crisis. It is not just a world financial crisis. In truth, as the long list of dimensions that are impacted indicates, it’s a world economic organizational crisis. In a nutshell, an inefficient world economic system reigns (because of obsolete imperial reasons). It turns out that we need more efficiency, so the entire system has to undergo a metamorphosis. And yes we can.

 

Transportation provides with an example of disorganization. Transportation has been kept completely distorted, it is much cheaper than it would be if all its real costs were included. The mantra has been for decades that developing countries should depend upon imports, produced in the richest countries (supported by enormous agricultural subsidies from those rich countries, and vast amounts of chemical fertilizers ruining their ecology). That economic exploitation scheme required cheaper transportation than its real cost would allow. That sleight of hand was hidden in a number of devious ways below the carpet of innocent looking conventional economic. Military might of the richest countries implicitly enjoined many poor countries to squander their energy reserves ASAP. Other means of keeping transportation costs artificially low were direct. Not only many countries (~ 50) subsidize fuel, but air travel is subsidized, be it only because jet fuel is not taxed (worldwide). Everything else is taxed, but not that great greenhouse contributor. And one looked somewhere else as cheap, extremely polluting, “bunk oil” was used in maritime transports, impressively polluting both seas and air.

 

Depending from far away food sources was a disaster for the poorest countries, depriving them of agricultural jobs and exports, besides making them into impotent beggars. The success of India and China is directly related to the fact they did not buy that humiliation, and achieved economic independence through autarchic government directed efforts.

 

Another example of worldwide economic disorganization has been the belief that a worldwide plutocracy was the best engine for worldwide growth. That has led to all sorts of inefficiencies. And it led to a destruction of fairness, by taking out the progressive tax system (that all countries espouse, but that the worldwide plutocracy easily eschews, by playing them against each other).

 

It is true that the expansion of international trade is necessary. African peasants are best at local agricultural production, and they should be able to export it, to have their economic place on this planet. But the African peasant, an expert of sustainable agriculture, cannot be expected to develop advanced materials withstanding controlled thermonuclear fusion. So it makes sense that the peasant would exchange the plants and fruits he grows against advanced technology developed by others, who had the opportunity to get acquainted to the most advanced scientific knowledge since the age of two. International trade is about best using the planet workload capability. It’s a requirement of worldwide fairness and thrift.

 

But, for the free market to work, all real costs should be included, and this starts with real transportation costs (including the cost of the devastation burning carbon brings), and the cost we all bear for the worldwide plutocracy (that, among other things, has driven up the worldwide real estate bubble). The true currency of the world is energy, and economics has to be rewritten that way.

 

Patrice Ayme.

http://www.patriceayme.com/index.html

TRUTH SPRINGS FROM YESTERDAY’S DETAILS.

June 17, 2008

DETAILS CAN REVEAL THE TRUTH TO BE IN EXACT OPPOSITION TO APPEARANCES.
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Abstract: Be in historical interpretations or in physics, it’s not just the devil that is in the detail, but the truth itself. We illustrate mostly with our reinterpretation of W.W.II, as found in the preceding post. It only looks complex, because it was concentrated on facts breaking the old paradigm (WWII as a simple fable starring the USA as unblemished anti-Hitler messiah). We are in the wrong paradigm when we view as details (that we then ignore), paradigm breaking facts. Those we brandished.
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Some may object that one will never be able to distill W.W.II down into easily digested context. That it was a continuation of W.W.I is fairly certain and that many industrialists profited from it is generally known, but many will say that the thing becomes consumed by its own details, pretty much as the American Civil War becomes consumed by its own details involving idealism, greed, business, and destiny.

But then one has to come back, and think about morals one can extract from how the truth is established in Physics. Aristotle did not want to get too consumed by details, so he decided that it was clear to him that a force had to kept on being applied to provide with motion. A more careful examination of the details of this was made by Buridan (1300-1358 CE), and the exact opposite was discovered: motion continues as it is if and only no force is provided. Casual examination resulted in a total falsehood, that looked true. No technology more advanced than Aristotle’s played a role in Buridan’s discovery. Buridan was more keen and more critical. Abelard (1079-1142) had passed by: he was called by another great intellectual of the times “Our Aristotle”. Why? Because he had gone further than Aristotle in some areas. Buridan was thus encouraged to probe even somewhere else. 

In the usual, casual, conventional history, the USA rescued the world from Nazism. We examined the record more carefully, and find this sort of true one way, on a superficial level, and completely false on a more careful examination.

It is true that complexities can acquire a character of their own. Intelligence exists to make short work of complexities, though. Digestion is one thing, reflection another. Digestion breaks things down, reflection brings things together using abstraction (the “meta” process).

It’s not even clear what a country “is” and “wants”. President Roosevelt was anti Hitler, no doubt. But that was just him. Most Americans and their institutions were racist, and hundreds of major US industrialists helped Hitler crucially. Although Swedish industrialists also did help Hitler, and so did, even more, Great Britain around 1935.

Nevertheless, thinking is about the ability to abstract conclusions. Conclusions become, in special contexts, better approximations of truth than the complexities that support them. As far as I am concerned, the USA betrayed democracy at the onset of W.W.II. And I would go as far as saying the US CAUSED the onset of W.W.II (for example IG Farben, notorious from Auschwitz, a mega worldwide monopoly of chemical firms was set up by Wall Street, and stayed under Wall Street control… in the 1920’s, before Hitler’s rise: elements in the USA prepared Germany for a world war, in cooperation with themselves).

To distill is easy, it’s all about emotions: in 1939 and 1940, when France was fighting the Nazis alone, the USA (as an industrial-diplomatic entity) did not help France in a measurable way, but did help the Nazis spectacularly. Some of the American help to the Nazis against the French republic was diplomatic (like pushing Belgium to not militarily cooperate with France anymore, or recognizing “Vichy””, an illegal entity), some was military (at least half of Nazi war technology was of US origin in a crucial way, like for example synthetic rubber and oil, or automatic pilots in Stukas, or Ford engines in superiority fighters, or IBM computers everywhere, manned by IBM engineers, etc…)

When dealing with an association of traitors, one has to start somewhere proeminent. First the Bush family should be put on trial to help it regurgitate its Auschwitz gains.

De-Nazification was a crucial part of reconstructing Europe after W.W.II. France judged and shot more than 40,000 French traitors, according to some estimates.

Europe is diffusely understanding that the USA is not on her side (and that happens to be the side of hyper democracy). This feeling will increase as long as the USA does not de-nazify. De-nazifying, in the case of the USA, will consist in dissecting the US role in Nazism.

The Iraq war was no accident: it came from the same morality and way of thinking that brought us Hitler. If Hitler had got no massive US help, France (especially with a little help from Britain) would have made short work of Hitler (many Germans, especially the generals, thought Hitler was criminally insane, but the US help to Hitler gave them pause). The danger, looking forward, is that the USA keeps on finding military solutions to problems that are in essence not military (like the energy crisis). President Obama or not, the USA would then find itself on a collision course with the EU. The EU does not look like it, but it’s actually more powerful than the US, and the origin of its roots. One cannot fight successfully one’s own roots. 

It’s all very complicated, true. It involves the opposite of neoconservatism, namely neopsychoanalysis. Good luck to us all.

Patrice Ayme

RULING THE USA WITH FALSE HISTORY.

June 11, 2008

SOME US PLUTOCRATS MISREPRESENT GROTESQUELY THE HISTORY OF FRANCE TO MANIPULATE THE US POPULATION INTO DEATH, IMPRISONMENT, AND THE PURSUIT OF SERVITUDE.

US anti-knowledge about World War Two is a gift that keeps on giving, to the Rich. In a farcical repeat of how the Roman plutocracy destroyed the Roman republic, war is used as a scarecrow to prevent people to land on the ground of common sense, while the military-industrial complex and the Rich hidden behind it present themselves as saviors of the republic. Whereas all they do is exploiting it to death.

“Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” is one of the most famous phrases in the United States Declaration of Independence, all too dangerously close to the French “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”. Since Americans know that France is second to none in the “pursuit of happiness”, US plutocrats have to insist that “socialist” France is somehow a deep failure that lives only the happy life by the good grace of the USA. The plutocratically controlled US media has to continually come back, and spread falsehoods about WWII, often presenting France as Hitler’s intrinsic ally, and accomplice in the holocaust.

Slandering France is a well financed industry in the USA. And it’s not just France. Recently a well financed, extremely well known US writer and TV commentator, ex presidential candidate, Pat Buchanan, outright accuses Great Britain to have caused the holocaust of the Jews, by having irritated the Nazis with an “unnecessary war” (namely WWII). He also accuses France to have dragged Great Britain into war with Hitler. It’s an old US crime: to want to make war to Hitler, a big no-no with many US racists and plutocrats (no wonder: they partnered with Hitler).

So here are a few important reminders of the basics of WWII:

a) Nazi laws and regulations treating many categories of people as NON human started in 1933, and blossomed in 1935. In France, Pat Buchanan would be prosecuted for holocaust denial. In the US he is feted, invited on all media, and (with the partial exception of his friend O’Reilly on Fox News) talked to as if he had established new standards of historical truth (“Congratulations for the book!” can one hear everywhere: they would invite Hitler, and congratulate him for “Mein Kampf”!).

b) Hitler attacked Poland with more than 100 divisions on the wee hours of the morning, September 1, 1939, alleging Germany had been attacked (the Nazis had set up a fake attack). France gave an ultimatum to Hitler the same day, September 1, 1939: 48 hours to get out of Poland. Great Britain, that had basically no army, was dragged into it because of her intrinsic alliance (“Entente Cordiale”) with France (after all, they were the only two large democracies … with their brat of a child, the USA).

c) France attacked Hitler within days with 50 divisions, across the Maginot Line, but, although she occupied a piece of Germany, could not break through the “Westwall” (“Ziegfried” line) at its strongest point (no wonder: it took the Franco-British-Canadian-US-Commonwealth armies 6 months to break through it at their weakest points in 1944/45). Belgium, goaded by the perfidious pro Nazi American plutocrats, was neutral, and that prevented the French army to attack in an easier place (besides, goaded by the sneaky Americans, Belgium had renegaded on the construction of her piece of the Maginot Line, precisely where the Panzers would break through, turning around the French defenses.)

d) As the battle in Poland raged, the Luftwaffe, Hitler’s murderously effective Air Force, ran out of its US made lubricants, so hundreds of tons of it where shipped to the Nazis by American corporations (good racists help each other).

e) The first British soldier took a month to reach France, after the UK also declared war on September 3, 1939. By then the French offensive had stopped, Poland having been crushed.

f) France had been under US embargo for years for being an enemy combatant (since France was anti-Hitler, and the USA was pro Hitler, except for Roosevelt who just talked, the US Congress embargoed France in 1937).

g) During the early years of the American revolutionary war, 90% of the cartridges used by the American revolutionaries were made in France. In 1939/1940, perhaps exhausted by all the military help it gave the Nazis, the USA did not send ONE cartridge to France.

e) The French and the British conducted an ambitious air-sea-land invasion of northern Norway, in spring 1940, with the aim of destroying Hitler’s Iron Road. The elite Nazi divisions were routed by the French Foreign Legion, and fled towards pseudo neutral Sweden. The next step of the Franco-British was to invade pseudo neutral Sweden (faithful iron servant to Hitler), but the disastrous events in France interrupted this plan.

g) Apparently betrayed by the Prince of Wales (he had been fired as king because he was a confirmed pro-Nazi, but, incredibly, had been made Inspector General of the British Armed Forces, spending weeks examining French fortifications). His Highness, briefed by French generals, finally sent a note to Hitler about where the weakest point was, just at the end of the Maginot Line, where French defenses were broken. Even though, the Nazis had to use suicide attacks by human bomb engineers against a French reserve division.

h) The battle of France cost the Nazis 50,000 troops dead, mostly elite soldiers with a a high proportion of elite officers, the best the Nazis had (driving them mad). The commanding Nazi Marshal commented the “French fought like lions”. The French had 95,000 soldiers killed. In five weeks. Proportionally to the present US population that would have been as if 700,000 US soldiers had been killed in combat in 5 weeks: France had 40 million inhabitants at the time! So much for the French being cowards.

i) Thousands of French civilians were deliberately strafed on the refugee roads (the hatred got so high that in one case a Nazi crew of a bomber that had been shot down, and guarded by French soldiers, was set upon by refugees who killed them). The Nazi losses could not be replaced (once again, proportionally to the population, they would be equivalent to more than 200,000 soldiers and officers killed in today’s USA). As a result Hitler’s army was weaker when it was ordered to attack the USSR.

j) In June 1940, as the French army fought alone against the Nazis, without assistance from anyone, not even the British (who had just been crushed, losing all their equipment), a few things became clear:

 1) The USA would not help, not even with an ultimatum to Hitler. Far from it; as far as many powerful Americans were concerned, their guy was winning.

 2) The Nazis, were enraged, rabid, holocaustic. After French units stopped General Rommel’s elite Seventh Panzer Division on the Somme for three days, the French had to surrender, having run out of ammunition.  Rommel had them executed, soldiers and officers. After a number of such occurrences, the question could be legitimately asked whether the entire French population would not be killed to the last by the Nazis (as they would try to do with the Slavs and Jews and Gypsies later, and had already started to do with the Poles).

 3) In these conditions, keeping on fighting looked unwise to some French leaders. After all, as long as the Nazis were getting massive American and Soviet help, what was a half invaded France to do? Churchill proposed to unify Great Britain and France as one country, instantaneously, and that would have been an excellent solution (making all French citizens British would have caused the Nazis to think twice about holocausting the French; as it was, the Nazis subsequently assassinated more than half a million French civilians). But an idiotic French PM  decided otherwise, and moreover the US government, always helpful (to Hitler), rushed to recognize the illegal Vichy regime.

k) France, under the form of the “Free French” kept on fighting. From May 26 to June 11, 1942, the First Free French Division defended Bir Hakeim against the Italian and the entire Nazi Afrika Korps of Rommel. Resisting for 16 days, it gave the retreating British Eight Army time to reorganize, allowing it to subsequently defeat the Afrika Korps at the El Alamein, at the door of the Suez canal. In just that one battle the Nazis suffered 3,300 dead or wounded, 277 captured, 51 tanks, 49 planes and roughly 100 other vehicles destroyed. Hitler was not amused, and concluded that “next to us Germans”, the French were the best fighters in the world, and so France had to be eradicated.

l) As North Africa got freed in Operation Torch, the Free French were able to raise a huge army (with US equipment: they were often taken for Americans, even as they contributed to the liberation of Italy, France and Germany). By 1944, the reborn French republic had risen like a phoenix, with an army of more than one million men fighting the Nazis, crossing the Rhine under fire, and making it first to Austria.

m) The USA never declared war to Hitler. Hitler declared war to the USA on December 11, 1941. The USA, its pro Nazi plutocracy conniving, had not planned to fight in 1942, and was taken by total surprise. So much for being so attached to democracy and the like.
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So what does it all mean? France is the sister republic and democracy of the USA. And French civilization clearly “founded” Great Britain in 1066 (in the fiery debate about the Iraq invasion, in 2003, the UK foreign minister, Straw, said so himself). Thus the origin of American civilization is French. By spiting France, some in the USA spite the deepest part of their own civilization. France is a problem for the descendants of the US plutocrats who supported and partnered with Hitler. They got furious against France in 1934, precisely because of France’s aggressive attitude relative to Hitler.

It’s time to understand this, and realize that US plutocrats and racists betrayed democracy, republicanism, France, Great Britain and the entire British Commonwealth in 1939, and all those who opposed fascism to death (profiting of US benevolence towards them, the Japanese fascists invaded French Indochina, killing more than a million). This has never been said forcefully, so the same clique (OK, their grandchildren) brought us the Iraq war and other idiocies of the criminal type.

Anti-knowledge can lead not just to mental retardation, but to servitude. Those who attack France in the USA do not do so just because it pleases them to hate the idea of France, but because they want US citizens to be meek and servile.

Time to wake up to the sad realization the American republic has been severely manipulated, from 1933 to 2003, by the same sort of people, with the same sort of agenda: themselves, above anything else.
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Patrice Ayme,

Tyranosopher